Upper Street, Islington, London.
this writer is just as interested in scenes of the Christian nativity as I am these days
Merry Christmas to all!
If you read my post, Annunciate This!, you will recognize that this lovely little image is by the same artist, and from the same source, as my favourite annunciation miniature. I love this one just as much, again for a variety of reasons. The grisaille against the star-spangled sky just works for me, for a start. But I also love that Mary looks as though she’s reading her remarkably alert newborn his first ever story…how lovely. And look at the thoughtful, proud look on Joseph’s face as he casts his eyes sky-ward. Then there’s the way the infant is extending his little hand towards the donkey, who gently licks the child’s little fingers, paying tribute in his way. Even the ox manages to have a vaguely awe-struck look. Lovely, simple, subtle.
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Yes, it is a justly famous painting, exhibited at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
It is called The Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir from 1881.
It’s an incredible painting that includes landscape, portraits, and still life elements…all set on an outdoor verandah with a cheerful striped awning on a summer’s day. But there is a less well-known Renoir called The Rower’s Lunch of 1875 (The Art Institute of Chicago) which is also worth a second look, also painted at Maison Fournaise. It is softer, with fewer figures and the latticework offers its own framing devices. Renoir painted other boating scenes but these are my favorites.
Rudolphe Ritter von Alt painted this view of a street in Vienna, where he died, March 12th 1905, aged 92.
Rudolph was born in Vienna on August 28th 1812. “His father, Jakob Alt, the son of a carpenter, was a German landscape painter and lithographer who was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1789 where he received his first artistic tuition and later moved to Vienna where he enrolled at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts. “
Below is View from the Artist’s Studio in Alservorstadt toward Dornbach by Jakob Alt (1836)